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Passengers can reserve the service by phone or online from BagsVIP, and then check their bags onto their United flights as usual at the airport — after paying the regular bag fee, of course.
When you arrive at your destination, you can skip the baggage carousel, and BagsVIP will deliver your bags to your home or office.
The service with United debuts from any domestic airport for flights to Boston, Chicago,Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and Orlando, and there are plans to expand it to 190 domestic airports this year, United states.
The fees are $29.95 for one bag, $39.95 for two, and $49.95 for 3-8 bags for delivery within a 40-mile radius of the destination airport.
BagsVIP will deliver the bags up to a 100-mile radius of the airport, and the charges would be $1 for each additional mile over 40 miles.
The service is geared to deliver your bags within four hours if the drop-off is within 40 miles, and six hours for deliveries up to 100 miles from the airport.
The new United-BagsVIP service comes at a somewhat ironic time as United has had mega problems with mishandled bags over the years.
2.88 bags gone missing per 1,000 passengers
In the latest DOT Air Travel Consumer Report, which was released yesterday and covers November 2012, United’s mishandled bags’ numbers domestically were 2.88 for every 1,000 passengers.
Among U.S. airlines [United, Delta, American and Southwest] with more than 5 milliion enplaned passengers domestically during November, United’s mishandled bags rate was the highest, although it was at a near-tie with Southwest, which notched 2.86 per 1,000 passengers.
In contrast, although United enplaned more than 5.4 million passengers during November and posted a 2.88 mishandled bags rate per 1,000 passengers, Delta enplaned far more passengers, about 1.8 million, yet Delta’s mishandled bags rate was just 1.74.
The worst record among reporting carriers for mishandled bags during November belonged to American Eagle, which enplaned just 1.4 million passengers, but mishandled 5.31 bags per 1,000 passengers.
What takes place when the inevitable happens?
So what occurs if you sign up for the BagsVIP service through United, and the bag doesn’t wind up on the flight and there’s no bag for BagsVIP to collect?
BagsVIP covers this scenario in a FAQ:
We will contact you to obtain the airline-issued bag tag numbers that you received when you checked the baggage. We will file a claim on your behalf with the airline, and will contact you with the claim information. We will process a credit to your account. The airline will be responsible for the final delivery of your baggage.
And, if BagsVIP loses your bags, they insure them for up to $500 per bag, or $1,000 maximum per passenger.